I became authentic at the arcade.
Until Street Fighter II came along, I was boy-average, copying other people’s hobbies, fashion sense and tastes.
I was also very easily bored and distracted, with little interest in school. Driven by a purely innocent desire for excitement, I found myself in trouble with the police on a couple of occasions. When my parents quizzed me why I’d done the things I’d done, I just shrugged my shoulders. I had no idea who I was.
It was only when the local arcade installed a Street Fighter II cabinet that I found some purpose. I was instantly hooked, spending all my free time and every last penny of pocket-money playing.
It was the Dragon Punch that did it. That combination of stick movements that seemed so counter intuitive, so unnatural, yet the most powerfully rewarding.
It was the cunning design of Street Fighter II that inspired me to work hard, to study and learn the value of effort.
When I swapped my Sega Mega Drive & Sonic The Hedgehog Christmas gift for a friend’s Super Nintendo & Street Fighter II Christmas gift, my practice time was no longer limited by my pocket money. I could fight throughout the night, and often did.
When the Street Fighter II guide book came out – around the same time that my first relationship had come to a bitter end – I devoured it, and pretty soon I could easily out-manoeuvre anyone at the local arcade, and I’d travel around hustling in other arcades too.
After beating a Level 8 Street Fighter II Championship Edition cabinet without losing a round, I felt an overwhelming sense of accomplishment. I had played Street Fighter so much that I didn’t just know how it worked, I knew why it worked, and I knew that I wanted to make games.
Since then it’s been a struggle to get anywhere. I won’t dwell on why or how, but it’s taken almost twenty years to regain that feeling of accomplishment that I felt playing Street Fighter.
Velocity is the first project I’ve been genuinely proud of during the nine years I’ve been running FuturLab. The fact that Velocity was so well received makes it all the more satisfying, and the fact we were able to follow it up with Surge in just three months makes me absolutely convinced we can succeed in this market. My 15 yr old self is very excited.
Thanks to all our fans and a certain person at PlayStation who has recognised the passion behind our work; we are now able to build a great team of professionals for 2013 and beyond.
I can’t wait 🙂
P.S. It’s taken until tonight to realise how valuable that period of my life was. What valuable period of your life hasn’t been recognised yet? 😉